If you do not like what is happening in Iraq, or in other current wars, there is one very real thing that you can do about it.
You can write a letter to the President of the International Court at The Hague, and ask him to get his court's public prosecutor to investigate Tony Blair, John Howard and Elizabeth Windsor, as possible war criminals.
You may prefer to dress up and go on yet another demonstration, or to go for the main instigators of the invasion of Iraq, Mr Bush and his friends, or whatever, but this is the one action that may change the way national leaders act the next time they wish to send their troops to kill kids for no particular reason, or in pursuit of a fantasy.
The Secretary General of the United Nations has said, presumably on sound and serious legal advice, that the invasion of Iraq was illegal in terms of international law.
As Britain and Australia are both signatories to the Rome Accords, by definition, it would seem to me, the people who instigated that invasion may be war criminals. Elizabeth Windsor is the Queen of both Australia and Britain. “Queen” means head of state, not just an unveiler of plaques, in both cases. When kids are having their arms blown off, and you do not raise a word in protest, the excuse that you are merely a symbolic leader rings very hollow and probably has no legal weight.
The USA, the main instigator of the invasion, has not signed the Rome Accords, and so it's leaders cannot yet be charged by the ICC. That loophole has been the very weak excuse proffered by that court for it's utterly spineless behavior to date. They have gone for African war criminals, and there is an serious urgency for that, but they have been entirely derelict in their duty regarding Iraq. They have done exactly nothing about Iraq and appear not to know what is happening there. They seem to inhabit another planet and are not earning their expensive salaries, in my opinion.
I, among some others, formally asked that court to investigate the people mentioned above, in April 2003. Since then many tens of thousands of people have died for no known reason, but the ICC has been supine.
I do not contend that these three people are guilty. If their actions are properly investigated and they are found to be innocent, I will personally apologize to each of them. But this issue is too serious to be held up by considerations of individual or national pride or reputation. Australia and Britain have signed up to the new rules, and if these two country's leaders are innocent of war crimes, as the two prime ministers have loudly protested, they should submit willingly to the umpire's decision, in order to clear their nation's honour and restore their standing in the world. Many people's lives are at stake, including those of their own citizens and soldiers.
If the ICC can be egged into finding the courage to do its job properly, we may be on the way to a civilized world order. Otherwise, the war in Iraq will be just another sordid politicians game in a long and continuing list.
So far, this court has been unable to instigate a single case regarding war crimes anywhere on this planet. Their street address in The Hague translates as “Moonroad.” Maybe that has something to do with it.
I tried to get the the big anti-war movements to support this action 18 months ago. The silence was deafening. They seem to prefer to organize traditional marching bands, and Internet petitions. Some months back, the ICC had received only some 800 requests for prosecutions for all the wars on this planet. They declined to say how many were regarding Iraq.
Just one letter, or one email, that is all I am asking. Please? For the kids of Iraq, and for the kids the next place that is in danger of being invaded by those who have lots of uniformed gunmen at their command and do not recognize international law.
If you can find the enthusiasm, it would be nice to get a note that you have done it.
If you do not live in Britain or Australia, or anyway, here is something else. Any country that is a signatory to the Rome Accords can require an investigation into war crimes, so if you can persuade yours or any other to do so, please do that. Not one has been game, so far. such a country would be doing Australia, where I now live, and Britain also, a very great favour, if you could help restore to these two maverick nations, decent standards of conduct and respect for international law.
In hope, my thanks.
Here is the name of the president and the postal address and phone and fax numbers of the International Criminal Court:
2516 AB The Hague
Telephone: + 31 70 515 8108 / 8304
Fax: +31 70 515 8555
Here is the email address of the Public Information Office of the court. They will pass on emails to the president and the public prosecutor. If you can, follow up with a letter on paper.
Telephone: +31 (0)70 515 8186
If you email them, ask the public information office to email you back to confirm they have received your request for an investigation